About Le Central
Opened in 1974, Le Central has been serving traditional French cuisine for over four decades, boasting the honor of being San Francisco’s most historic French bistro. Conveniently located on the cusp of the bustling financial district and downtown Union Square, Le Central stands out in a rare one-story historic brick building, crowned by a vintage Tabac sign. Offering classic French faire such as Filet Mignon au Poivre, slow-cooked Cassoulet and Roast Chicken Pommes Frites, Le central’s cuisine is comforting yet sumptuous. The exposed brick walls, stained glass features, and imported brass bar invite you to retreat and unwind in its charming, brasserie atmosphere. Le Central is the downtown stop for locals and visitors looking for a classic meal, delicious glass of wine, and a taste of la belle vie.
San Francisco, CA 94108
Hours of Operation:
MONDAY - SATURDAY
Lunch: 11:30 AM - 3:30 PM
Dinner: 5:30 PM - 10:00 PM
Bar: 11:30AM - 10:00 PM
Happy Hour (Bar only): 4:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Grant and Kearny
$30 and under
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Private Party Facilities:
We welcome you to our little bistro with a big heart. Dining alone, on a date, with visiting family, for a special occasion, or a familiar face, bienvenue chez nous. Gathering colleagues or close friends for a larger group event? We can do that, too. We can even provide a whole side of the restaurant for a more private dining experience. Let us know your needs and we will do what we can to accommodate them. We are here to take care of you.
Private Party Contact:
Melanie Tanphanich: (415) 391-2233
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Private Room, Wheelchair Access, Wine
Special Events & Promotions:
Join us for Happy Mondays.... 50% off all wines by the bottle limit 2 per party Mondays from 5:30pm-10pm
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Le Central Ratings and Reviews
Terrible experience. Host was arrogant and rude. No greeting. Sat me. No menu. Nothing. I sat for 10 minutes and was totally ignored. I had to ask for a menu and water. When I finally ordered lunch the tart crust was soggy and the plate refrigerator cold.
WORST RESTAURANT EVER. WILL NEVER RETURN.
The food and atmosphere was just as I remembered whem I ised to lunch there often 35 years ago when I worked in tbe finamcial district. The waiters are great and its such an SF institution. You can't go wrong in a place filled with so many only in SF memories and characters!
We had a great experience with our children, exposing them to authentic French cuisine (escargots, mussels, mousse au chocolat) and they declared the roasted chicken the best they had ever tasted (after mom’s of course!) My wife and I enjoyed a lovely bottle of Tattinger. We arrived at 7:00 to a place half full and completely filled by the time we left. Only the waiter left something to be desired. He was not very attentive and seemed like maybe he’d been doing the job a little too long. We would return and overall it was a good meal experience for our family.
We ordered butter lettuce salad, mussels,
Creme brûlée and chocolate mousse, coffee.
We don’t believe we got good value for money; $12 for a salad that wasn’t tasty, $15 for mussels that were very small although the sauce tasty; $8.50 each for creme brûlée and chocolate mousse, $3.00 for coffee that tasted burnt. The desserts lacked richness.
Classic! Travel back to old San Francisco with white table cloths and superb service. This was the power brokers’ lunch choice for decades. The food and the service are terrific. The cocktails are generous.
If you want quiet conversation for business or friendship, this is the place.
I am Vietnamese and Chinese, know the cuisines very well and a foodie. Honestly authentic, delicious and upscale Vietnamese food like I’ve never had before. Very impressed with the depth of selections and the excellent service. Can’t believe I’ve never been here before, but this will be the place to eat every time I’m back in town!
3 of us ate dinner here on Saturday night. two of the three had filet mignon which was cooked to perfection and tender enough to cut with a fork. I had what the waiter described as slow cooked veal which was also good. But When I asked what cut of meat it was he looked at me as if I had 3 heads. So I asked again using an example: "what cut of meat is it, like is it a veal shank like osso buco?" He said no it was small pieces of veal .with some vegetables. I said do you mean veal stew?
The steak came with a sauce and mushrooms. My granddaughter doesn't like mushrooms so I said we can ask if they are prepared in the sauce or separate so she would know if she wanted the sauce or not. When we asked the question the waiter seemed annoyed but replied that the mushrroms were cooked separately and added to the sauce. So Both my granddaughter and my husband wanted the sauce that came with the steak on the side and my husband also wanted the mushrooms on the side. My husbands steak came with the sauce on it and my granddaughter's sauce came separately with the mushrooms in it.
If it were a very busy night I would understand how the order was not followed but the restaurant was half full. And the waiter didn't bring us our dishes, someone else did.
So I think the restaurant and kitchen is very good but the waiter was awful.
My 2 guests and I enjoyed Le Central. Has a small French bistro feel with some tables in room with the bar and others off in another room. Very good, attentive, friendly service. Enjoyed a endive chopped salad. One of my guests had the burger and fries. Looked good and he said it was very tasty. Many of his fries were small segments so hard to eat. My other guest had the mussels appetizer which she said was excellent, but surprised it didn't come with charred toast or something else to use for the broth. I had half chicken and fries. Chicken a bit dry but still good. Also had some problem with the fries but those you could eat were excellent.
Enjoyed a nice Unti Sangiovese.
I lOVE this classic French bistro. It is an old standby. It is rarely crowded, which concerns me, but the food quality and service is just superb. I think it is just now "trendy", and caters to a somewhat older crowd, so if we keep it a secret, it will remain the BEST place for a nice quiet, business lunch or dinner and/or romantic place. We saw Willie Brown, our former mayor there the other night. He is a regular. Love all of you who continue to make it great. ANd the fact that the wait staff have been there for years and years. A true SF classic!
A Genuine San Francisco Classic. Charming, elegant, warm and so San Francisco- French.
It breaths its history as one of the most beloved lunch spots in the City and on the West Coast. If you want to understand gracious bistro dining - visit Le Central and step into a world of comfort and satisfaction - you won't regret it and you won't forget it -
Obviously a legendary spot reflective of old time SF & while the menu was acceptable & the wine list had a good combo of values, rarities & unique gems, the execution from the kitchen was mediocre. We were greated by an awesome host & served by an excellent waiter. Both of them were tops. Unfortunately, the kitchen sends out food that looks like it was prepped 13 hours ago. The only thing that seemed fresh were the Pomme Frites. Throughout dinner, some dude in white dishwasher scrubs kept coming out & looking out the front door. I began to wonder if he was the watchout for the ICE. Nevertheless- the room is lovely - cozy & warm. I'd go back for wine & cheese plates, maybe some off the menu add on items like the cold smoked salmon, but plan the main course elsewhere.
Wonderful! Was looking for an after theater "french" meal and found Le Central. The staff was wonderful. Noah the bartender was exceptionally friendly and nice. Locals sitting at the bar gave us their favorites. They are now our favorites. The mussels and scallops were cooked to perfection. Bib lettuce and fig salad, wonderful. French onion soup, hot, cheesy and a great broth. Will definitely go back again.
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